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The Nice - Ars Longa Vita Brevis CD (album) cover


The Nice


Symphonic Prog

3.28 | 114 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I'm astonished to see such low ratings for this candy straight from proto-prog years. Is it a question of bad production? Or again, is it Lee Jackson's "anarchic" voice? Let's try focusing on ideas, and here you can find many of them, making this album precious and intelligent. I've always preferred The Nice to Emerson Lake & Palmer, because I find them fresher, straight in your face, as iconoclastic and anarchic as youth - or better, as rock should be (sometimes I find that prog rock suffers too much from its being "adult"). A song such as "Daddy, where did I come from" could kick out any punk piece: irreverent and ironic lyrics, aggressive riffing, and yet you can already find Emerson's tribute to Bach (before he starts raping his hammond). This is pure adrenalyn. "Little Arabella", I have to admit, is weak, but their rendering of the Intermezzo from Karelia Suite is pure brilliance, jazzy, rich in free form approach. Jackson playing his bass with a bow and the effects Emerson can create from his hammond are enthusiastic. "Happy Freud" features intelligent lyrics and an unconventional flare which make it sound really modern and powerful still today. And then you have the suite: "Ars Longa, Vita brevis" is pure punk-prog, with the harsh voice of Lee Jackson hammering your ears - and yet you couldn't find any substitute for this unique sound. Davidson proves to be an excellent drummer, while Emerson - most of all in the improvised section following their version of the third Brandenburg Concert - performs such incredible numbers with his hammond you'll never find in his following production. Come on, don't fear exploring this "dirty" side of our favourite music!
paolo.beenees | 4/5 |


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